The Venerable Anne Catherine Emmerich (1774-1824) was a German Augustinian nun of great sanctity. She endured a life of sufferings, bore the stigmata of our Lord and was a seer, who witnessed scenes from the life of Christ with the vividness of one who was there. Those revelations were one of the sources used in making the film The Passion of the Christ. She also foretold future occurrences in the Church. The following are from her visions pertaining to the emergence of a subversive Church of Darkness that would deceive many of the faithful into “complete decadence”.
May 13, 1820: “Last night, from eleven to three, I had a most wonderful vision of two churches and two Popes and a variety of things, ancient and modern…. I saw the fatal consequences of this counterfeit church; I saw it increase; I saw heretics of all kinds flocking to the city. I saw the ever-increasing tepidity of the clergy, the circle of darkness ever widening. And now the vision became more extended. I saw in all places Catholics oppressed, annoyed, restricted, and deprived of liberty, churches were closed, and great misery prevailed everywhere with war and bloodshed. I saw rude, ignorant people offering violent resistance, but this state of things lasted not long. Again I saw in vision St. Peter’s undermined according to a plan devised by the secret sect while, at the same time, it was damaged by storms; but it was delivered at the moment of greatest distress. Again I saw the Blessed Virgin extending her mantle over it.”
June 1, 1821: “I saw the Holy Father very prayerful and God-fearing, his figure perfect, though worn out by old age and manifold sufferings, his head sunk on his breast as if in sleep. He often fainted away and seemed to be dying. I often saw him supported by apparitions during his prayer, and then his head was upright. When it sank upon his breast, then were the minds of many turned quickly here and there; that is, viewing things in a worldly light…. These visions were so frightful that I came near crying out. I see in the future religion falling so low that it will be practiced only here and there in farmhouses and in families protected by God during the horrors of war.”
August 10, 1822: “I see the Holy Father in great distress. He lives in another palace and receives only a few to his presence. If the wicked party knew their own great strength, they would even now have made an attack. I fear the Holy Father will suffer many tribulations before his death, for I see the black counterfeit church gaining ground, I see its fatal influence on the public. The distress of the Holy Father and of the Church is really so great that one ought to pray to God day and night. I have been told to pray much for the Church and the Pope…. Last night I was taken to Rome where the Holy Father, plunged in affliction, is still concealed in order to elude dangerous exigencies. He is very feeble, quite worn out by distress, anxiety, and prayer. His chief reason for lying concealed is because he can now trust so few.”
August 25, 1822: “I know not now how I went to Rome last night, but I found myself near the church of St. Mary-Major. Around it I saw crowds of poor, pious souls, in great distress and anxiety on account of the Pope’s disappearance and the agitation and alarming reports throughout the city. Led by one common impulse, they had come to invoke the Mother of God. They did not expect to find the church open, they intended only to pray outside. But I was inside, I opened the door and they entered, astounded at the door’s opening of itself. I was standing aloof where they could not see me. There was no service, only the chancel-lamps were burning, and the people knelt in quiet prayer. Then the Mother of God appeared. She said that great tribulations were at hand; that the people must pray earnestly with extended arms, if only for the length of three Our Fathers, for it was thus that her Son had prayed for them upon the Cross; that they should rise at midnight to pray thus; that they should continue to come to her church which they would always find open; and that they should, above all, pray for the extirpation of the dark church.”
September 27, 1822: “I saw heartrending misery, playing, drinking, gossiping, even courting going on in the church. All sorts of abominations were committed in it; they had even set up a ninepin alley in the middle of it. The priests let things go their way and said Mass very irreverently; only a few of them were still a little intelligent and pious. I saw Jews standing around the doorways. All this grieved me deeply. Then my Heavenly Spouse bound me as He Himself had been bound to the pillar, and He said: ‘So will the Church yet be bound. She will be tightly bound before she shall again arise.’”
October 22, 1822: “‘Very evil times are coming,’ [my guide] said. ‘The non-Catholics will mislead many. They will use every possible means to entice them from the Church, and great disturbances will follow.’ I had then another vision in which I saw the King’s daughter armed for the struggle. Multitudes contributed to this with prayers, good works, all sorts of labors and self-victories which passed from hand to hand up to Heaven where each was wrought, according to its kind, into a piece of armor for the virgin warrior. The perfect adjustment of the various pieces was most remarkable, as also their wonderful signification. She was armed from head to foot. I knew many of those who contributed the armor, and I saw with surprise that whole institutions and great and learned people furnished nothing. The contribution was made chiefly by the poor and lowly. And now I saw the battle. The enemies’ ranks were by far the more numerous; but the little body of the faithful cut down whole rows of them. The armed virgin stood off on a hill. I ran to her, pleading for my country and those other places for which I had to pray. She was armed singularly, but significantly, with helmet, shield, and coat of mail, and the soldiers were like those of our own day. The battle was terrible; only a handful of victorious champions survived!”
[Not dated:] “They want to take from the shepherd his own pasture grounds! They want to fill his place with one who will hand all over to the enemy!”